August 25, 2010
A ghostwriter is any writer who creates content for a project that will be presented under another name. As you are traveling in a bookstore, you might marvel at the sheer volume of works certain names such as Tom Clancy put out. In many cases, these books weren’t written by a single writer but rather many and then published under the big name. This arrangement is a good one for many writers, as it allows them to get work and valuable writing experience, while also benefiting the larger name by allowing more work under their aegis to get out.
Your blog might just benefit from hiring a ghostwriter for the same reasons. Every blog needs a writer to direct it, and blogs do best when guided by one or two voices in a consistent direction. Sometimes, however, the originator of a business or idea isn’t the one who can best capture that direction, and that’s when you should turn to a ghostwriter.
In no particular order, here are five reasons that many blogs choose to hire a ghostwriter for their content.
Reason #1 – They Can’t Write Appropriately
This isn’t referring to whether their content is polite or not, it simply refers to whether the “idea man” behind a project can generate content that fits the aim of the blog. Suppose, for example, you have someone who knows all about the world of competitive cooking as seen in Iron Chef. He knows the competitors’ ranks and accomplishments and wants to use the blog to promote interest in competitive cooking – even, perhaps, in his own cooking school.
The problem is, he can’t write in a way that catches the eye. His writing might be too technical, or rely on obscure factoids that don’t really do much to inspire the reader’s imagination. A ghostwriter, on the other hand, is all about the writing, and one of the best talents a writer can have is the ability to take someone else’s ideas and rephrase them in exciting, evocative language.
Reason #2 – Lack of Time
Many of the big blogs seen on the web weren’t start-up ventures, but rather grew out of a company that already existed. Many companies have seen the success of blogs in other ventures, and have chosen to add one to their own site, much the same way they chose to add a website to their business when the web first got popular. This is a natural evolution and response to a changing market, and is not a bad idea. On the other hand, the owner is usually concerned with other issues and does not have time to devote to writing a blog.
In such cases, the natural step is to hire a ghostwriter. You want the articles to continue to go out in your company’s name, since the idea of the blog is to promote the company, but don’t have time to do it yourself because you are justifiably busy. A ghostwriter can build a solid blog post in about an hour of work, and then move on to their other projects.
Reason #3 – Intermediate Perspective
There is a great deal to be said for being familiar with your product and your brand. You get to know subtleties and rhythms of the business that no outsider could appreciate. The problem is, your perspective is entirely different from that of your customers. They can’t get into the nitty gritty of your brand in a way you can.
In cases like these, the value of a ghostwriter lies in linking the outside views of your audience with the inside views of the company. You can communicate your passions directly to this writer, who can marry them to a perspective of those on the other side of the glass. Their intermediate presence crucially bridges the gap between brand and audience.
Reason #4 – Brand Protection
Writers are a notoriously prideful lot. Some of the fiercest legal battles are over intellectual property rights, and justly so. Creating a written body of work is a tremendous effort, and having it stolen or infringed upon is a terrible offense. On the other hand, a branded blog is not about the individual writer, it’s about the brand and what the brand represents.
By definition, a ghostwriter doesn’t take credit for their work. The work is put out in the name of the brand, or the site’s owner, as a means of projecting the brand forward. The ghostwriter is willing to take their pay without putting their own creative name on the work, which will benefit your brand because there isn’t an intermediate step. If you let one ghostwriter go, either because they move on to new things or you decide you need a new creative direction, there isn’t necessarily an indication of this to the outside world, and the brand’s voice continues.
Reason #5 – Flexibility and Freshness
Ghostwriters in the plural sense can do a blog good, too. If you maintain more than one at a time, you can ease the wear and tear that is associated with writing on the same general subject. Writers are like horses; you don’t want to ride them to death on the way there if you expect to get home. And since writing can be done anywhere, by anyone, anytime, you can cast your net far and wide in search of the two or three writers you need to best communicate your message.
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos and social media in the “voice” of our client’s brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to www.BrandSplat.com or visit our blog at www.iBrandCasting.com